Live From The Artist's Den / TV Party Tonight!

Ahoy hoy! Welcome back to the column that pretends it will be on time, much to the (probable) chagrin of my gracious three cohorts. I’m just a few days removed from an amazing Amyl & the Sniffers show, and my ears might still be ringing. Whew! What an excellent show. The crowd was into the band and although it was a relatively short set (maybe 50 minutes or so) it did not leave me wanting more. The reports of lead singer Amy being a spitfire in concert were very true. She left it all on the stage (and sometimes in the crowd) and she threw herself around with wild abandon. The band, when done, left the stage and exited the room right past where we were standing, and they were all dripping with sweat and obviously exhausted. It was a great time and I urge all of you to try and catch this band if you can. Top notch entertainment. Anyways, on with the goddam column….

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Soundgarden Live From The Artist’s Den Chris Cornell has been gone over two years now. In this writer’s mind, he had one of the - if not the - best voices in rock & roll. Sure, there were plenty of other bands that I felt were my favorites, but just about everything Soundgarden did commanded my attention. Even their 2012 comeback album King Animal continued where they left off in 1996. I was lucky enough to see them twice in their prime, once on the second Lollapalooza tour, once in support of Superunknown, and they were amazing each time. I was disappointed that I never had a chance to see them on their comeback tour in 2013, which was why I was happy to see them release the 4 album/2 disc set Live From The Artist’s Den, culled from a date on this tour. Let me tell you, the band were on fire on this date. All the instruments are mixed well, guitars, bass drums all come through, the playing is expert. Cornell’s voice hits all of the notes, the man was a true talent and it is a shame that he took himself from us too soon. There’s a few rarities played on this record as well. The never-before-played-in-front-of-an-audience “Blind Dogs” (from the excellent Basketball Diaries soundtrack - find it if you can) sounds great, along with the seldom played tracks “Incessant Mace” and “New Damage”. All in all, this album will keep you rocking for hours. If you are a die hard, or just a casual fan, do yourself a favor and pick this up.

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TV Party Self-titled TV Party are a band that hails out of Ventura California. They actually informed us on our Instagram page that they put their first release out just a few days ago, and wanted us to give it a listen. Never one to shy away from hearing new music, I gave it a listen and I was stunned. I’ve listened to it several times now in the last couple of days and I have to say it is a keeper. It’s still too early for me to make favorite of the year lists, but I feel that this one might just make an appearance. What a great set of songs. They have a unique combination of sounds that they really make their own. I’m going to post the short bio that’s on their Bandcamp page: “TV Party is made up of five friends from Ventura, Ca. Jesse Brinkenhoff's vocal tone has been compared to the likes of Peter Murphy (Bauhaus) and Julian Casablancas (The Strokes). The music is reminiscent of late 70's / early 80's power pop. Bridging the early punk sound of New York and London, TV Party delivers a fresh darkness with a full band sound.” This is as good a starter as any, I also hear hints of Wayne Hussey (The Mission UK) and a bit of The Psychedelic Furs in their music and vocal delivery. When it comes right down to it, this is a just a great rock record. I look forward to hearing more from these guys and I look forward to seeing them in the Midwest for a tour someday. Check out TV Party on Instagram as well as Bandcamp and Facebook.

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Joey Cape Let Me Know When You Give Up The fourth solo album from Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape is a tour de force. Don’t come here looking for your traditional pop punk songs. Don’t come here for your solo acoustic singer songwriter tunes. Come here for a mixture of all of it and more. This is a very diverse record and goes in many directions while also managing to remain a cohesive package. Good luck picking out your favorite song - they will all fight for your attention. It’s a surprisingly upbeat (despite some of the lyrics) affair that will leave you smiling at the end of it. And in these uncertain times, isn’t that just what you want?

Current Listening: AC/DC Highway To Hell; The Donnas Turn 21; Dropkick Murphys Blackout; Monster Magnet Dopes To Infinity

[Obviously Chris Cornell took his own life over two years ago. If you or anyone you know is dealing with depression, please get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Get help! It’s ok to not feel ok….]

Till next time! Shazbot! Nanoo Nanoo….